was being used in mosul on al qaeda. >> that is a problem. >> well that's a [ bleep ]. >> and that's something we're not allowed to say on this channel. oliver did eventually lighten up demonstrating how little americans do know about edward snowden. thanks for watching everybody. wolf starts right now. hello. i'm wolf blitzer. it's 1:00 p.m. in washington. 8 p.m. in nairobi. wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks very much for joining us. up first, the preliminary nuclear deal with iran. president obama calling it a once in a lifetime opportunity to keep nuclear weapons out of teheran's reach. his comments come days after the u.s. and other world powers reach a tentative agreement with iran. the final deal will be hammered out supposedly by the end of june. the road ahead may be turve.
the president faces skeptical lawmakers on capitol hill. on sunday president obama strongly defended the deal speaking to "the new york times" columnist thomas freidman. >> what i would say to the israeli people is however, that there is no formula, there is no option to prevent iran was getting a nuclear weapon that will be more effective than the diplomatic initiative and framework that we put forward. and that's demonstrable. >> benjamin netanyahu is blasting if deal calling it historically bad. here he is speaking on cnn's state of the union yesterday. >> well i think the alternative u s are not eer just the bad deal or war. there's a third alternative. standing firm and ratcheting up the pressure until you get a better deal. the better deal would roll back iran's vast nuclear structure
and require iran to stop its aggression in the region, terror worldwide. that's a better deal. it's achievable. >> as the white house launches an aggressive campaign to sell the framework deal u.s. lawmakers are pressing to reject any final agreement. what's the latest over there? what are you hearing? >> reporter: well wolf, the white house has their top scientists the nuclear physicist who was at the negotiating table with iran over this issue. this white house believes there's a lot of skon vincing that the technical details of the deal can go with on capitol hill to try to convince them that this deal potentially takes away the option of iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. but we should say that on capitol hill a lot of the critics are saying its no the just the technical details but it's also the broader details. put simply a lot of people
wanted to know what's the timeline for the potential for sanctions to be lifted. the white house is saying one thing. iran is saying another thing. the iranians saying that these sanctions would be lifted immediately. u.s. saying sanctions would be fazed out. so there's not much detail there on about distinctions. and the white house secretary admitted that the phaseout of sanctions is stl something that needs to be agreed to. >> he seemed the interview with tom freidman to be a little more conciliatory towards the israelis towards the prime minister specifically obviously they strongly disagree on this. but he suggested it pains him to be hearing anti-israel, other supporters of israel. what are they saying at the white house? was this a more conciliatory tone coming from the president? >> reporter: certainly seems to be. interesting that when the deal was announced on thursday president obama wasted no time getting to the rose guard.
and really delivering a stern message. he has a stake in this. he wants this to ultimately succeed. he had a stern message for congress saying they would be the ones to blame in this deal ultimately is killed in the end. but now the president kind of realizing an openness potentially to have a deal that would potentially go through congress. they would be allowed to really register their complaints about it but it would not be a binding resolution. and that's key. many on capitol hill will likely not go for this. they want something that's binding. and that's what congress is going to move forward. >> thanks very much. the debate over iran turning the spotlight on what some are now calling the obama doctrine. the president himself helped define this tell the "the new york times" that it could be described, quoting him now, we will engage but we preserve all of our capabilities. let's dig deeper on this the nuclear deal. what's going on. joining us akmbassador nicolas
burns. what you make of the fact that there are some very different spins coming out from what u.s. officials are saying this deal includes as opposed to what iranian officials, you hear one thing from secretary of state john kerry, something else from the foreign minister of iran. how worried are you that very different interpretations about this deal are coming forward? >> well wolf i think it's to be expected in a way because both of these countries, the united states and iran are going to have a difficult time getting an agreement in their own capitals for a final deal. so you've seen for instance secretary kerry and the united states put out a lot more detail on this agreement because they have congress that they need to convince. as you say as soon as a week from today when congress comes back the iranians have another problem. they have a dual or divided government. there's the reform video near, president rouhani, but there's
the hard core supreme leader and the republican guard. it's understandable and not surprising that you see this various spin. the differences in the spin between the two capitols. it does point to something else. it's going to be a long difficult road to get to a final deal on june 30th if in fact there are substantial disagreements on sanctions, how they'll be fazed out and also on verification. >> as you know the iranians are saying they will be lifted suspended, completely right away swuns this deal goes into effect. the administration is saying not so fast. they're going to be fazed out over appear period of time. there's a significant difference right there. >> it is. you're talking about the leverage that the united states and the west have been able to use at the negotiating table. the leverage that we have is that the iranian economy is doing poorly in part because of the sanctions. the sanctions have been in all venues the u.n. security
council sanctions, sanctions taking been the european yuan whereon. some of the sanctions will clearly be lifted early. i think both sides agree that the quite naxunited nations chapter 7 sanctions, but some will be released only when the iranians comply comply. frankly that's a bar that president obama needs to meet to convince the congress that we have to continue to have some intimidation and leverage on the iranians in the first year or two of this agreement to ensure that iran complies. >> with the easing of the suspension the removal of the sanctions, that could bring in it's been estimated $150 billion to the iranian economy relatively quickly. and the argument is that's an enormous pressure point that the u.s. and the europeans, the other countries have and they missed an opportunity to demand that iran also take other steps, stop funding terrorists
organizations, groups the u.s. considers to be terrorists organizations. stop calling for israel's destruction. free american prisoners, including an american journalist being held in teheran. was that a mistake not to put other issues on the table right now in exchange for $150 billion in money that's going to flow into the iranian economy? >> well first, wolf, to answer your question, i think that where the leverage is, the united states has to be tough minded and europe too in these last three months of the negotiation on that sanctions issue in order to retain leverage. i don't think however it was a mistake for europe and the united states not to put all of these other issues on the table. i think it would have been very complicated complicated. and you know you've got to try to reach an agreement that's practical and possible. the iranians are not going to come pitch late. they're not going to change their entire foreign policy, however much we would disagree with it and we do.
here we're looking at the weakness in prime minister netanyahu's argument. you have to judge president obama's negotiation against the alternative. and if we effectively walked away from the table -- that's what prime minister netanyahu is asserting we do -- we lose the influence of the international community. you wouldn't have the unity of the p 5 countries. the u.s. would have been the loser had it taken the max mall approach. >> thank very much for joining us. >> thanks wolf. they lived there for decades but had only hours to leave with a few belongsingsings. it may be your second attempt but don't expect a rerun of her last campaign. first here on cnn we have a sneak peek into hillary clinton 2016. her formal announcement could
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we're getting a rare look inside the conflict that is tearing yemen apart. powerful new pictures from our cnn crew arriving inside the country showing bombed out buildings at the mayor airport. they also saw people rushing to get on planes so they could leigh the country. these evacuees are bringing only what they could carry. hundreds have died in the last few days alone. iranian backed hugh think rebels have been fighting for control of key cities. the red cross has been calling for a cease-fire so the wounded can get much needed medical
help. let's talk about what's going on in yemen right now. joining us our correspondent that just got back from yemen. also our cnn military analyst, rick franco anyone. how did you get inside? what did you see? it must have been terrifying to see what was going on when you flew into yemen. >> reporter: wolf we came in in this window that the saudi air force provided the indian government and other governments trying to evacuate their people. and anyone who can get to the ports and airports. we came in during that. it was extraordinarily eerie. not to see anyone in the streets, no cars no people. people still trying very much to take safety and stay indoors. then there was an awful tickdown a countdown as the crew tried to get to people who were hoping to fly to safety.
just beyond the hugh think immigration points on to the plane. it was such a tight turn around. finally they did. you saw the faces. the relief on those faces. some of them managed to fall asleep even before the plane had taken off. they told us every single night they sit in the dark hearing the horrible sounds of the bomb boardment. this was the first time they had been able to close their eyes since all of this began. these were the lucky ones the hundreds who have managed to come out. inside yemen the there are still tens of thousands more that aid organizations say are outside the reach of those who can help them. >> basically what i'm hearing, you were there for a few hours but you spoke with people who got on the plane. is it complete chaos there in yemen right now. the united states the british, everyone has evacuated their embassies. they've escaped the chaos. is it awful? tell us the sense of how bad it
is. >> reporter: well those we spoke to said that in the hugh thy areas wu sit in complete pitch black listening to the aerial bombardment raids. that still is not decisively in the government loyaltyists hands. the port has changed hands so many times. in addition to that you can't get access to fuel can't get out to buy any food even if there was any food in the shops to buy. again we have to reiterate. the people that we spoke to are the ones who were able to get to the airport. there are so many more who are far out of reach of help. >> looks like total chaos to me. all right, thanks very much one of our courageous journalists here at cnn.
these saudi led air strikes are they having any impact on these hugh think shiite positions? >> not really. it's turned into an absolute humanitarian disaster. the bombing which was fairly targeted at first a has now expanded into residential areas. they're missing their targets. cause so many much damage. the power is out, the water is out. it's turning into a real problem there. and the saudis haven't coupled this with the right diplomatic approaches. they've failed to get the other arabs around them to force the hughouthis to come to the table. so i think we've just come across this chaotic environment and i don't see any real out here. >> i take it the u.s. -- from the u.s. perspective, the main concern was always that al qaeda and the arabian peninsula aqap
is based in 'em men and the u.s. had good communication there, could launch drone strikes and go after them. i take for all practical purposes that has ended? >> that is true. if you had to take one group that's benefitting from all of these chaos is aqap. they're probably the most effective of all of the al qaeda organizations. they're not really involved in the fighting so they're able to expand their operations. you saw last week they were able to break into a prison and reinforce their ranks with many of the people that were in prison. this has been a gain for aqap the loss for the west and a loss for the yemeni people. we have to see what the saudis are going to do with this because it doesn't look like they have a real plan here. >> i'll be speaking live in "the situation room" with the saudi ambassador to the united states. we'll talk about this what's going on in yemen and elsewhere,
correspondent nick payton walsh reports. >> look closely at these men itching for a fight and you can make out a new seismic tremor the size, the weapon. but not this. the flag of the islamic state. isis. these men are afghans and wanted to shower our cam ma men air allegiance to isis an act that could get them killed by. we established contact he says with isis through a friend. he called us saying isis had come to afghanistan, let's join them. rejoined and pledge allegiance. our camera man wasn't allowed to film the phones they say they used to talk to iraq and syria. they say they're religious students who watched propaganda and at night go into villages to
recruit. we don't recruit ordinary people, he says. we only recruit people with a military background in the government or the tall la ban. at the moment we have no leader but talks are going on to choose one for us in afghanistan. isis is only just beginning here but their timing is good. the tall la ban is fractured or thinking of talking peace ap and the the young and angry are thinking it's appealing. even washington has heard the threat that isis or dash may pose in the vacuum ahead slowing the u.s. troop withdrawal. >> it is critical that the world understand the terrible threat that the dash and its allied forces pose. from the west the dash is already sending advanced guards to southern western afghanistan to test our vulnerabilities. >> whatever their strength in the swirling chaos of post-american afghanistan, even
these homemade flags betroy a purpose of brutality ripe for blooming. >> nick, you mentioned there was a growing threat that could affect the u.s. troop withdrawal over the next year or two from afghanistan afghanistan. is there a strategy in place for deal with this emerging threat in afghanistan? >> reporter: u.s. military that i spoke to said they're aware of recruitment efforts. their concern, they're tracking the development of any military capability isis has, that would be resources coming into the area. we've heard from afgan officials reports of them popping up in many troubling districts. at this stage there doesn't appear to be anything that would slow the white house's desire to put them back in the embassy. it's been slowed but not being affected by this rise of isis. what has changed in the afgan government position. a few months ago they were to some degree trying to pretend it
wasn't much of an issue. when he spoke to congress in washington very clear it is quote a terrible threat. that's something we're seeing echoed around the country. the real fear being that the taliban, they're perhaps tired and certainly not as appealing as they were to the younger generation. to make himself more appealing to a generation who find isis propaganda online much more attractive. the fear is they're unemployed were angry and disillusioned with the war and right now come isis's grand of extremism. that could prove very attractive attractive. you've seen in the past quite the safe hain isis could be. history could potentially repeat itself. that's what's so troubling here wolf. >> certainly is. nick walsh doing excellent reporting for us. big changes ahead for hillary clinton as she gets
clinton east second bid for the white house could be days away. if she does run, her new campaign will be different than what she did back in 2008. our senior washington coauthored an article on cnn.com. the second time around a new hillary clinton will hit the campaign trail. give up the update. we expect the timing of the announcement. could be a few days away. could surprise it through social media or what? >> we're expecting through social media. her staff is alert it could happen this week or next. more importantly activists have been told that she's coming soon. thaw's what they really want to hear. they want to see her out there. what her aides are telling them is she will campaign slightly differently. no big crowds or rallies.
one on one campaigning. she struggled with those rallies in 2008 of course because senator obama always seemed to get bigger crowds. but they're trying to reintroduce her. the problem with this is she's so well known be so many people the reinstruction also has a downside if she's reintroduced too many times. they're starting with smaller to make it look like she's fighting for the nomination. >> what are you hearing? >> yet similarly that i think they're trying to kind of show -- i think like some of your reporting has been that they're trying to not make it all about her. but i think they're also trying to make it about her in a less overt kind of way. i think when you talk to people close to hillary clinton, they point back to the moment in new hampshire right before the primary where she sort of had her emotional moment. almost choked up and cried and showed a softer side of herself. the themesment coing out that she's grandma, she's leaning into the being a female candidate and also championing a message of economics for women.
but i think that she's trying to -- u think we're going to see her doing that in a much more softer way and in an intimate setting trying to push that across. >> it's a real problem when you've been around in the public eye for three decades and you've run for the presidency once before and you lost. it's easier in the democrat party to be a shiny new candidate than it is to be one who has gone before. that's what that hardly ever happens. with hillary clinton they're reaching back into another generation which is odd for the democrats and she's got to present herself as something different. the only way for her to do that is to show another side of herself. not to say i'm a completely different human being because then you're inauthentic. what they're going to do is show the more likable side of hillary clinton, the one they know in private. her friends are saying smaller groups warmer hillary, like new
hampshire. as you saw when she really got her game on the last time she ran. so they're trying to figure out a way -- kind of remember the listening tour when she ran for the senate in new york and she went and met people and listened to them. take the inevitability out of this. >> what are you hearing about bill clinton, the role he might be playing getting ready for his wife's second bid for the white house? >> we're not going to see him front and center at the very beginning. this is about her. reminding voters that she is fighting for the nomination. i am told he is not going to be front and center at all. of course behind the scenes it's impossible to remove him from the equation. i'm not sure you would want to. he's the top strategist from our time. we saw that he stumbled a bit in '07 and '08 when he was trying to help her. people who used to work for him say you've got to embrace him, you have to own him. he is who he is. love all of him. but some of her aides and
confidents think that he needs to step back. we'll not see him. he'll be involved in the foundational work for the next few months. >> he did some of the biggest damage to hillary clinton in 2007 2008. but the trouble for bill clinton-for-hillary clinton is he can be a liability and an asset. we'll see him come out at some point but i think right now it's about hillary clinton defining herself, kind of going back -- it makes me wonder how does this work. going back decades really to when she was doing -- as she does do things for women and children but focusing back on some of her early efforts and trying to make it not all about the '90s and bill clinton. but at the same time he can be very beneficial to her. >> you remember when we covered the clinton run for the white house, bill clinton run for the white house, the slogan was you get two for the price of one and that could be a strong argument. >> and i think at a certain point that would be a sub text.
but maybe once the nominating process is over -- i was told by a good friend of theirs that he just wants to be helpful. whatever that means. and it means that they're going to keep him under wraps for a while because the focal point has to be hillary clinton. but he's encourageable. you're not going to keep bill linton from giving advice. >> but when it comes to staffing they've laid more ground work this time around to make sure that he doesn't step on her toes in the way that he did in 2007 and 2008. >> look when she was secretary of state, everybody thought bill clinton was going to be running foreign policy and that was not the case. people pointed that at the model for how he should behave during the presidential. >> the last time she ran she did awful in the caucus states. in iowa she lost obviously to barack obama. that propelled him to win the democratic nomination and eventually become president of the united states. what is she going to do
differently now to go off the caucus attenders. >> she lost to john edwards. she got third place in 2008. what they're concerned about in iowa there's definitely a prodepressive streak. some people want a different kind of candidate. there was a blunt assessment by two top clinton advisers having dinner with activists, some democrats are not ready for hillary. they're trying to fight hard for this. not just go through the motions. what they're concerned about, uncommitted. what happened in 1976 with jimmy carter. he won the iowa caucuses but got second to uncommitted. could you imagine what happened if she would not to win or just get very goes to uncommitted. she has to expand the universe of caucus nowgoers. >> when do you think the announcement is going to be made? >> it will definitely happen by the end of next week. it could be any day. >> we're in the window.
there are new disturbing developments to tell you about in the kenyan university massacre where nearly 150 people were killed mostly christians who had been singled out for death. they struck to al shabaab camps across the border today. it's kenya's first response to the attack. the government is intensifying its sej for this man, his man mohamed mohamud. there are also reports that a son of a kenyan government official has been identified as
another terrorist leader involved in the attack. cnn's correspondent is joining us from kenya where the university is. what do we know about this supposed mastermind of this brutal massacre, how dangerous is he? he's a killer and a thug. >> reporter: yes, exactly, wolf. kenya's interior ministry had put out a reward for this man, over $200,000. they've called on anyone who has any information on him to come forward. they say that he's the man in charge of the malitia along the porous border of somalia, about a four-hour drive down a dirt track from here. and he is in charge of control of cross-border attacks into kenya. has a similar motive op ran die. this was one in particular in
2013 when a bus was stopped by some of his men, terrorists passengers taken off, separated, christians and muslims and the fighters began to kill the christians. >> i understand today was the first time that the university officially allowed reporters like yourself to go on the campus. didn't last very long but what did you see there? >> reporter: wolf well the first thing you see when you walk in was utter destruction. a lot of the buildings and sort of structures have been torn down as tanked ham come in to the university to try and take out four terrorists that carried out the attack. there were bullet holes scattered across the building. little craters from grenades. apart from the destruction, it was the human angle, wolf. in these dorm ma toirryes that were attacked, all of the
belongings of the students were still there. as your camera man is filming, you suddenly realize it's the silence. this is a university where hopes and dreams were being planned for and now it's silence. >> you interviewed one survivor cynthia. tell us about her horror, what she went through. . >> reporter: a remarkable story, wolf. the attackers came in on 5:00 a.m. in the morning. 48 hours later the authorities found this young girl called cynthia hiding in a wardrobe. she had covered herself with clothing and blankets and it's incredibly hot here. all she had -- she told us to drink to keep herself rehydrated was body lotion. really quite remarkable. here's what she had to say, wolf. >> i was scared so much. >> reporter: you were hiding? >> i was hiding. you know how i had covered
myself with the clothes. >> reporter: while wu were hiding what did you hear? >> the shooting. they were shooting everywhere. i had closed my eyes. i didn't want to open my eyes. i just closed my eyes at that time. >> reporter: when we met cynthia, she was still in great shock, wolf. but it's times of complete horror like that that you want to try to find some sort of hope. as i said she was in shock when we found her. when the authorities found her buried under the clothes in the cupboard she couldn't come out. they had to get the authorities, the principal of the university to come back to the scene of the crime and tell her, cynthia, it's okay. these people are not going to kill you. >> what a horrific story. and of course as we all know by now were these terrorists they
went to the university took the students out, they divided the students between muslims and nonmuslims mostly christians and they went ahead and killed the christians, a brutal development. we'll stay on top of the story. we'll stay in close touch with you. up next we're getting our first inside look in the town of tikrit iraq a key city now liberated from isis. but can iraqi government troops keep control over saddam hussein's former hometown or will the iranian backed shiite militias effectively take charge? i care deeply about the gulf. i grew up in louisiana. i went to school here. i've been with bp ever since. today, i lead a team that sets our global safety standards. after the spill we made two commitments. to help the gulf recover and become a safer company. we've worked hard to honor both. bp has spent nearly 28 billion dollars so far to help the gulf economy and environment.
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after brutal and fierce fighting we're getting a new look inside tikrit. the second largest city in iraq mosul, of nearly 2 million people. it has revealed horror isis conflicted on people including this mass grave containing as many as 1700 people. hundreds of them iraqi soldier, executed by the terrorists. many of them beheaded we're told. our senior international correspondent arwa damon is joining us live from baghdad. tell us what you saw arwa. this is simply brutal.
>> reporter: it is. it's a very grim experience especially the task that lies ahead for the expert teams that have to exhume all of these bodies. within the presidential complex that contains upwards of two dozen palaces, they have identified eight locations where they believe there are mass graves. another two locations identified outside the palace complex. so far they only managed to exhume around 12 bodies. this is a very difficult laborious, long process. they want to be extra sure they're not damaging the bodies. a lot will be identified from dna sampling. the victims, those who were killed in what is now known the spiker massacre, when isis marched hundreds if not upwards of 1500 shia troops to their
deaths. on site we met a man who was among the very few survivors. he was describing how when they initially were caught by isis or whomever it was who he says captured them they were told they would not be harmed promised they would not be harmed. in the isis videos you don't see them trying to escape or struggle. they were told they would go to their families. they were then split into smaller groups then the executions began. many families have been holding out hope their sons would have survived this massacre. based on what we're seeing now is this long process, the bodies beginning to be exhumed. families are going to have to go through the difficult and unimaginable task of trying to identify their loved ones lost.
wolf? >> a lot more on this horrific story coming up throughout the day on cnn. arwa thank you very much for that report. awful, awful news out of tikrit. up next north korea gives approval to a new push for wa what is described as peace on the korean peninsula. it involves dozens of prominent women from around the world. we'll tell you what the north koreaens are planning on doing.
peace activists are hoping new effort by prominent women from around the world will bring peace to the peninsula. it's described as a walk across the demilitarized zone. north korea has not t approved this walk yet. among the women planned to take part gloria steinman and two noble peace price winners. brian is following this story. what is going on? what are people hoping to accomplish? >> these women are hoping to promote unification of two koreas bring formal end to korean war which has not formally ended. that is their primary goal engaging in the walk. they want to walk.
they're waiting for permission from the south korea government. we've reached out to seoul and in washington to officials to see if they're going to grant permission. we're told now it's under review. one thing we've been told by the human rights group called committee for human rights. greg is the leader of that group. he says be weary of this group. he says they're known to be sympathetic with the north korean regime. the leader of the group says that's not accurate. we want to promote end of the korean war. these and other types of events involving koreans is turning out controversial. >> does gloria have that type of history? >> not at all. she says she's passionate about this. the committee for human rights says gloria and noble laureates
may not realize what they're get k in to. we're reaching out to gloria's a people. they haven't gotten back to us. >> they would start in north korea, across the demilitarized zone to pyongyang? >> that is the plan. >> that's a long walk. >> it's a long walk. it's going to happen may 24th if it happens at all. the north korean regime is accused of some incredible human rights violations towards women. the forcible detention of women in labor camps, raping of women. kim jong-un is said to be starting joy brigades again. these are women they're 15 to 20 years old basically there to give pleasure and entertainment to kim and and north korean leadership. this is not a regime sympathetic to women's causes which makes this more skurscurious.
>> there are troops along the border in the demilitarized zone as well. >> we'll have more. >> i'll be back in the situation room. for viewers in north korea, "newsroom" with brianna keilar today starts right now. good afternoon. i'm brianna keilar in for brooke baldwin. two years after the deadliest terror attack to hit the city of boston the boston marathon bombings. the man charge aed in the attack is now underway in court. he faces 30 counts 17 carrying death penalty or life in prison. these charges include setting off weapons of mass destruction, acts of terrorism, conspiracy aiding and abetting the attack and murder. the judge has given the jury its instructions. the defense is due up